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More evidence

"More evidence" Continued...

The motion asserts that this was a ploy to get the evidence out of Kline's hands and ultimately back to the abortion provider. Earlier in her ruling, Beier accepted that Morrison had immediate access to the original records, which were in a judge's custody, plus his own copies. Moreover, this "relief" relieved nothing: Months before Beier granted it, Morrison dropped the charges against Planned Parenthood.

Beier then "sanctioned" Kline for this non-existent offense by ordering him to turn over to Morrison copies of all the evidence against Planned Parenthood he had collected since leaving the attorney general's office and becoming Johnson Country's district attorney. To insist that evidence gathered in his Johnson County case be turned over the state prosecutor as a "sanction" for a previous case was a jaw-dropping demand.

The motion also accuses Beier of promoting a "third-wave" feminist agenda at the expense of the court's integrity. The basis is a 2008 paper she wrote for a legal conference in which she described the "choice-throttling oppressions" of the traditional family structure and endorsed using the media as "tools" to transform society (download a PDF of the paper).

The ethics panel ruling against Kline is just as bizarre, according to his lawyer. Kline is accused, for example, of lying to officials at the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. But he and his investigators merely declined to tell them what they were investigating-standard practice for investigators. Another charge says he misled a grand jury, but the ethics panel allowed only one grand juror to testify-the one who filed the complaint-and her evidence contradicted the account in the official transcripts. This, Condit said, is not the "clear and convincing evidence" the law requires to punish a lawyer in such cases.

If the replacement judges are fair, Condit said, "Phill Kline will be completely vindicated."

But will there be a different outcome this time? Kline has fared poorly so far. Mary Kay Culp, the state executive director of Kansans for Life, believes that Dan Biles, the presiding justice who will pick the replacement judges, is pro-abortion. The Kansas legal establishment, she said, intends to send a message to prosecutors across the country about investigating Planned Parenthood: "The ethics charges are meant to be intimidating."

As for the continuing Johnson County criminal case against Planned Parenthood, a judge dismissed 23 felonies last fall when he discovered that state bureaucrats had shredded key evidence years earlier (see "Into the shredder," Nov. 19, 2011). But the abortion giant still faces a scheduling hearing on July 11 on dozens of misdemeanor counts of failure to determine the viability of unborn children and unlawful late-term abortions.

Les Sillars
Les Sillars

Les directs the journalism program at Patrick Henry College in Purcellville, Va., and is the editor of WORLD's Mailbag section.

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